James Franco Explains Why Studios Keep Remaking Superhero Films

Business Insider

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Marvel

James Franco, pictured as Harry Osborn in "Spider-Man 3," would like to remind you that he knows what he's talking about.

Critics weren't wowed by "Man Of Steel," calling Henry Cavill's Superman  "brooding" and offering hit-or-miss ratings on Rotten Tomatos (56 percent of reviewers liked it as of Wednesday morning).

Fans are chomping at the bit, rewarding "Man Of Steel" with glowing reviews and handing over a record-breaking  $128.6 million at the box office over opening weekend.

If you haven't made up your mind about director Zack Snyder's reboot, let cinephile James Franco do it for you.

Franco reviewed "Man Of Steel" for Vice magazine on Tuesday, deeming it "a great film."

"It delivers everything it should. It made Superman cool again," Franco wrote. "It delivered great action and interesting characters with a plot that was grounded enough to make us care a little."

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Henry Cavil

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"The night of the premiere I saw Henry from afar on the red carpet and knew this was the moment his whole life had been building toward," Franco wrote in his review for Vice.

Franco said he overcame childhood prejudices against the " cheesiness of the character’s suit and his douchey invincibility"—applauding Cavill's performance and Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan's ability to keep the story focused and fresh.

Of course, Franco also put on his philosopher's hat.

He criticized the film industry's obsession with rebooting film franchises.

"When movies become so big that they can make $200 million in one  weekend like ' The Avengers'  did," Franco wrote, "everyone from studios to filmmakers are going to want to get in on making comic-book movies."

He adds:

"We are just wowed by the money that brings them to fruition. Kids like comic-book-style heroes, teens like flashy action and sex, and therefore these films make money. Adults—the third audience—respect money. So these films are made. Again and again. And if Brandon Routh doesn’t work as Superman, or if Sam Raimi can’t agree on the villain for a fourth 'Spider-Man,' they will just make new versions without them."

Prior to "Man of Steel," Brandon Routh put on the blue and red suit in 2006 in "Superman Returns," a role for which  Cavill also auditioned .

This pattern hits close to home for Franco. A  long, long time ago — in 2002 — he brought Peter Parker's best friend and later nemesis Harry Osborn out of comic books and onto the big screen in director Sam Raimi's three-part "Spider-Man."

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Tobey Maguire first sprung into the role of Spider-Man in 2002.

Last summer, director Marc Webb's reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man" reeled in more than $260 million — still less than any of Raimi's original trilogy

Monday, Sony announced release dates for "The Amazing Spider-Man 3' and '4,' stretching the franchise into 2018, while the sequel is still in production .

For Franco, the "original" series feels like yesterday.

"The new Spider-Man series ... arose even before there was time to bury the corpse of the old one and enshroud it in the haze of nostalgia," Franco wrote. " I don’t really feel much distress over its being remade, for many reasons, but what is interesting to me is that it has been remade so quickly — and the reasons why."

Money, money, money.



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